Across the bridge

Exploring outside the boundaries of campus

Challenge: venture east across Maple Street Bridge by foot or car, not underneath it tubing.

Few students, unless they have a residence there or are heading to Central, know what the east side has to offer.

Ever get a craving for curly fries, jalapeno poppers or roast beef sandwiches? Take a trip to Arby’s to get your fix.

Trying to find something to do on an afternoon that is fun but inexpensive? A suggestion would be to check out miniature golf located across the bridge.

Need a break from studying or want some exercise? Grab a bike, rollerblades or running shoes and hit the White Pine Trail that lasts for miles and miles, north or south.

Want some lunch? Enjoy some at the Sawmill. Whether night or day, they have food and spirits with a fire and patio.

OK, so maybe Arby’s and the Sawmill won’t do? Try out the Ala Mode Cafe for some breakfast or lunch or maybe you are brunch type. Either way, make sure you try it sometime; you don’t want to miss out on a good breakfast. Or try a sandwich if you despise pancakes, eggs or bacon, but who really does?

Heading south a little ways is Highbanks Park, where some people stop after a day of tubing on the Muskegon. It doesn’t have to end there. Grab some food to grill and get a game of softball started.

On your way to Highbanks, there is a stretch where the community can come to enjoy The Big Rapids Antique Farm & Power Club. Go out and enjoy the show. Go on and try something new; you may think this is better than NASCAR.

Need to plan a whole day? Head out on the rails and trails to North End Park. Have a barbeque or picnic once you get there. If you’re up for some exercise, take a volleyball and enjoy a game along the river. Not your thing? No worries. There is disc golf, if you are up for the challenge. Those darn trees will get in your way, regardless of if you are a girl and get to be close. It doesn’t help, trust me.

Not into volleyball, biking, rollerblading or disc golf? Maybe a game of soccer? Try out Industrial Park. It always feels good to run around like a fool in the hot weather. Then you can treat yourself to a tubing trip and refreshing beverage.

Are you more of a shopper? Check out the pawn shop. One person’s junk is another’s treasure. Trust me. They have everything from music to movies to snowboarding boots. Maybe you could find a cool raft for the Muskegon to float. May I suggest testing it out before you venture down the Mighty Muskegon? You don’t want to be that one person sharing a tube. It isn’t comfortable and can become awkward.

Need to send a package to mom and dad just because? Why not use FedEx or UPS, both conveniently located on the other side of the river.

The above are just a few places or activities to name that can be done across the bridge.

Whether sunshine or rain, there are places to explore. Don’t let the small-town setting put a damper on a list of what to do.

Grab a friend and head out to explore. It doesn’t cost a dime to look around, and you might just discover something truly fun.